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Farming Minister agrees with Farron's calls for 6 day rule to be scrapped

June 24, 2010 12:00 AM

Farming Minister, Jim Paice MP, today revealed he was sympathetic to removing the 6 day rule after South Lakes MP Tim Farron called for the regulation to be scrapped.

Speaking today in the House of Commons, Mr Farron highlighted the burden encountered by many farmers as a result of the six day standstill, which limits farmers' ability to move and trade their animals. Introduced in 2001 following the outbreak of the foot and mouth crisis, the regulation prevents farmers from moving any animals off their farm - except direct to slaughter - for a total of six days after any animal has been moved onto the farm.

In his reply to Mr Farron's question, Mr Paice admitted that he would like to see the regulation removed and confirmed that it would come under consideration as part of the coalition government's efforts to reduce the regulatory burden on farmers.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"I spoke to a farmer recently who had just bought bull, but because of the 6 day rule was prevented from taking his sheep, which were two miles away, to market.

"Considering that we are not currently facing a foot and mouth crisis, the 6 day standstill rule serves absolutely no purpose apart from making life difficult for farmers.

"If we were to experience a new outbreak of the disease then it could be essential to have the rule back in place in order to protect farmers and their animals, but there is no need to have this rule during 'peacetime'.

"I'm delighted that Jim Paice has demonstrated a willingness to reduce the burden of bureaucracy on farmers by taking a long hard look at whether or not we really need the six day rule."